Ouch! (after reading one Freedom stance) November 20, 2006Posted by NAyK in Article Watch, Discussions-Conclusions-Hopes, Linux, Software.
After reading this article, Ouch, is correct. I really feel that people like me do not truly appreciate the amount of work that has gone into Linux. I know I like and admire Linux. But I’m not so clued in, or kicked, about its philosophy. This is evidence by the fact that my entire concern with Linux so far has been to find a Linux that works… ie. I want proprietory software/plugins… for free of course… but I still want them. And this article in the LWN.net site challenges me in a way that I need to be challenged. I think at times I display a blatant disregard for the long-term Free vision of Linux. This needs to change.
Of course, the author is also right that the issue is Choice
One of the most striking comments in the article is this: “As a thought experiment, consider how things might have gone if the Linux community had accepted the ‘just works (most of the time)” non-free Java implementation that Sun made available. Linux distributors, rather than put large amounts of work into making Java code work with free alternatives, could have simply shipped Sun’s version. Had they done so, would we have (the promise of) a GPL-licensed Java from Sun now? If we simply accept proprietary drivers in the name of “it just works,” when, exactly, do we think free drivers will become available?”
Basically the author asserts that by holding their stance, Free Software activists were able to challenged the establishment to change its ways. This change would have never happened if they had compromised right in the beginning.
Of course, the author is also right that the issue is choice. And if people want proprietory software, they can choose a distro that has it. But we must never criticise Linux for failing to include proprietory software… especially we who want things that just work… but aren’t capable or willing to do the work needed to make it work in the first place.
For me, I think I still want some proprietory software/plugins. And I want them within the Free Linux World. I don’t mind “accepting” terms and conditions. However, this article is right, that I too have choosen and may my world continue to grow. But may my world never subsume/obliterate another persons (read totally proprietory Free) world.
I for one, repent from my abrasive demands from Linux… and hope that I will sensitively seek my choices.
More information on Free Software is found here.